A RESPONSE TO KHARTOUM LIES, DENYING ABOUT THE PRESENCE OF LRA IN SOUTH DARFUR, SOUTH SUDAN.

Picture1.pngPhoto of president Bashir of Sudan, commander in chief of Sudan Army Forces and LRA Joseph Kony

(5TH March, 2016), This is in response to Brig. Ahmed Khalifa Al-shami, the spokesman for the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) who denies the ‘’ official presence’’ of the fighters of the fugitive Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in South Darfur State. That is a pure lie, LRA are present in UM Dafok, Songu, Kafiakingi and Dafak areas as reported by Fallata paramount chief Yusuf Al-Samani. The Fallata chief demanded the expulsion of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) from their grassing areas.

The Fallatas of Tulus County of South Darfur, have a right to demand the expulsion of LRA in their grassing areas because the present of LRA in their grassing areas is a threat to them and their livelihood, Pallatas are seasonal nomads who entirely depend on cattle’s benefits and move south seasonally, they migrate Southwards towards Central African Republic for grassing, especially during the beginning of the dry season annually, that is why you see them demanding immediate expulsion of LRA from those areas. LRA had been in South Darfur for the last six and half years since September 2009 until the time I am writing this piece of article.

Brig. Ahamed Khalifa can deny the presence of LRA under so many pretexts and secondly, because he does not know exactly the mentioned areas. The paramount chief of Fallata is well knowledgeable about the areas than the Khartoum based officer. Now that the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) is weakened to an unprecedented point, the LRA is engaged in poaching (especially Elephants and Rhinos tusks), opium farming and trading with intelligence elements of Sudan in exchange of so many things and as a mode of survival as well.

My original and credible intelligence Reports on the presence of LRA in South Darfur since 2009.

Joseph Kony, with his two sons (Salim and Ali Kony), including some families travelled to the Sudanese-controlled and contested areas of Kafia Kingi enclave in late 2010, as they travelled to SAF controlled areas, they passed through Raga county in which I was in charge of Military Intelligence Units (MIU), of the SPLA, I was seriously monitoring their movements very closely, where he sought to reestablish ties with his old patron, the Sudanese army under direct coordination and supervision of Khartoum intelligence headquarters in coordination with SAF 16th Infantry Division-Nyala South Darfur.

Kony’s elements fled South and then East from Djemah (Central African) Republic, attacking several villages while evading Uganda Special Forces-USF, (we were jointly monitoring their movement) before settling into the area east of Obo for several months. In early March 2010, Kony then moved back into northeastern Congo, spending at least several weeks there and meeting with LRA commanders such as Caesar (now captured), Okot Odhiambo, Binany Okumu and Dominic Ongwen among others.( in fact,Col Otto Agweng was movement with Kony)

According to our intelligence reports; Joseph Kony did not stay in Congo for long, and by mid-2010 he was moving northward toward Kafia Kingi enclave they passed through Raga county areas. Lt. Col: Otto Agweng, one of Kony’s most trusted deputies, had made contact with Sudanese Military Forces at their military garrison in Dafak in October 2009. Otto Agweng reported to Knoy after returning from dafak, receiving a promotion from the LRA leader for his hard-work  after surviving a serious SPLA ambushed at DUYU STREAM about 8-miles SW of Boro-medina where I found a letter written to him by Kony himself in Acholi language promising him for promotion to a full Colonel.

That journey of Otto Agweng to SAF controlled areas, after surviving our ambushes paved way for Kony, who arrived in Khafia Kingi in October 2010 and established a camp near the Sudanese military garrison at Dafak. Joseph Kony never met with Sudanese military officials himself, but sent emissaries to make contact with Sudan military high command. He also ordered a series of raids on nearby communities in the CAR, to gather supplies for his group as they were moving. In December 2010, Kony decided to return to the CAR, leaving Officer Otim Ferry in charge of a small LRA group that remained between Kafia Kingi and Dafak.

As explained above; now LRA elements, has continued to traffic ivory, Rhino’s tusks and Buyable animals skins into Kafia Kingi, Songu, Dafak and Hufratnish areas, and making transaction between the LRA and Sudanese Merchants, and in some cases; LRA elements trading those items directly with Sudan Army Forces Officers and intelligence officers under direct orders of Kony, the LRA commander in charge of the movement, in particular his two oldest sons, Salim and Ali, barter the ivory with merchants from the South Darfur town of Dafak, Songu, and other areas which they deemed marketable, in exchange for money, food, uniforms, and ammunition. Some few LRA elements are still based in DRC’s Garamba National Park (GNP), where they poach elephants, Rhinos and secures the ivory. Another group, led by a young man called Owila, then transports the ivory from northeastern DRC to Kafia Kingi through CAR. The tusks are then trafficked to Nyala, South Darfur, and Eldain East Darfur and on to Khartoum probably for exports abroad with collaboration of Sudan intelligences.  The conflict-ivory trade perpetuates the poaching of more elephants, and Rhinos, the illicit trafficking of ivory, and violence against civilians according to so many captives from LRA.

SPLA clashed with LRA elements enroute to Darfur

On September, 2009 S.A.F intelligence began directing the LRA to those enclave with intention of using those elements against SPLA troops who are deployed along the borderline but L.R.A has no military strength and capability to attack well armed SPLA troops single handedly. When we attacked and destroyed their bases at Garamba Park,

National Islamic Front began directing them to Darfur through Western Bhar Elgazal State; they appeared at Mangayat in Raja County. We chased them away,after they two policemen and one civillian,they killed the policemen and the civilian( John) managed to escaped from them, and  they took the root of BOR-Medina and reappeared where they attempted to loot food in the markets. We denied them to loot civilians’ properties. After two days they attempted to loot foods again, I decided to locate and traced out the place where they may be hiding, until when we managed to locate them at Duyu stream about 8-miles Southwest of Boro-Medina. I personally moved to Boro-medina as temporally base of SPLA forces. We attacked them and killed 3 of their elements, one female and two males and found valuable intelligence information with them detailing their command structure including their overall commander called Lt. Col: Otto Agweng. They were heading to SAF controlled areas of Dafak. I personally pursued them until they reached Dafak and they were received by Capt. Mohamed Ali of SAF from auxiliary police force (Abuthara) with direct orders from SAF 16th Infantry headquarters in Nyala. They were given food and other items.

They were stationed west of Dafak some 8km away from SAF base barracks (defense) and they used to go and grain their maize and sorghum in Dafak under SAF supervision. Currently, LRA are in those areas captioned, this is undeniable facts. I know they are there up-to-date. As the notorious, LRA elements moving to South Darfur, they began looting and killing of civilians along their routes toward SAF controlled areas, such as Yabulu. Kuru, Deim-zubier, Sopo Mangayat, Deim-Jalab and Boro-medina of Raga county, as we have captured some elements from them. Khartoum cannot just deny those facts in regards to LRA leaving in Sudan territories with the knowledge of SAF.

Now, when the dreaded intelligence of National Islamic Front knew that I was seriously monitoring and hunting the notorious LRA elements in South Darfur and along the contested areas. Field Marshal, Bashir began calling President Salva Kiir that Col. Reagan of SPLA military intelligence is doing suspicious activities in South Darfur, which was exactly in 2011-2012.  President Bashir was furnished with wrong intelligence by their failed intelligence that I was a Colonel in the army which was false. My advice to NCP is to hand those LRA elements peacefully to government of the Republic of Uganda or if Khartoum fear to hand them directly to the government of Uganda, then they can do through United Nations Missions in Darfur.

Therefore; it is baseless for Brig. Ahamed Khalifa Al-Sham to continue denying the official presence of LRA fighters of the fugitive Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), IN South Darfur State, he is just lying to the media with fake reports and defenseless evidences.

 

By Reagan Gatluak,

FORMER SPLA CHIEF OF MILITARY INTELLIGENCE,

Raga, Western Bhar Elgazal State.

Makerere University, Kampala-Uganda; reagang@gmail.com

 

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